Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) Celebrates 20 Years of Se
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The Irish Wheelchair Association were joined recently by local members, friends, staff and volunteers past and present for a celebration which took place in Racket Hall Country House Hotel to mark 20 years of services in Roscrea.
The Irish Wheelchair Association were joined recently by local members, friends, staff and volunteers past and present for a celebration which took place in Racket Hall Country House Hotel to mark 20 years of services in Roscrea. Mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr Tom Corbett, after which a presentation was made by Edel Carey an employee and member of the Association since 1998.
Edel Carey - Programme Assistant, Bridget Phelan - CE Supervisor, Lorraine Love - Programme Assistant, Joe O'Connell - Service Coordinator and Gerry Kealy - Driver / Programme Assistant F l - r: Members: Elizabeth Coffey and Kevin Clifford at presentation to Bridget Phelan
IWA started out from a small office at the back of the Abbey Hall in October 1995. From there the Association began the process of recruiting participants to start a Community Employment scheme that would provide essential services to people with physical and sensory disabilities across North Tipperary. Early activities included a swimming club in Nenagh and a sports club in Templemore, occasional social outings and regular home visits to members. Edel recalled the period when she first joined IWA:
‘In September 1998 IWA had settled in beside Bad Abbots Café at the back of Supervalu where we remained for three years. From here IWA started to provide Day Centre based activities, which included arts and crafts, painting and a homely place where members could come to chat, relax and meet socially.
Redevelopment of Supervalu forced a move in 2001 and we relocated to our current home in Abbey Street which was bigger and offered more opportunities to expand services. Here we started our Tuesday & Thursday Resource and Outreach Service in Roscrea. Around 2006 we began to receive funding for courses from the TETB, (formerly VEC), which greatly enhanced the variety of training and educational programmes available through our service’.
Edel Carey, Bridget Phelan
F l - r: Elizabeth Coffey and Kevin Clifford - cutting the cake to mark IWA’s 20 years in Roscrea.
Resource and Outreach Services were expanded again in 2010 with the opening of a new centre in Thurles at the Tipperary Centre for Independent Living, and in 2012 with the opening of another service at the Nenagh Pastoral Centre. While daily services have branched out in North Tipperary the Associations base remains in Roscrea. Today, IWA provides weekly day services to 48 people and has a membership of over 300 who avail of Resource and Outreach Service throughout North Tipperary
Edel thanked all present saying: ‘I’m sure that everyone will join me in acknowledging the contribution, participation and work of all who have passed through our doors over the last twenty years both members, staff, volunteers, and friends and to extend our gratitude and thanks to the families of those who are no longer with us. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local people of Roscrea, community organisations and businesses for their continued support over the last twenty years and extend good wishes to all for 2016’.
Two of IWA’s longest serving members Elizabeth Coffey and Kevin Clifford were in attendance along with Bridget Phelan who has been IWA’s Community Employment Supervisor in North Tipperary since day one. Bridget has helped approximately 200 people through the course of Community Employment with a high percentage of success in helping participants find long term employment when they leave.
IWA operates a network of Resource and Outreach centres in every county. The aim of the centres is to provide opportunities and support services to people with physical disabilities so that they can lead active and independent lives in their own communities. To learn more about the range of services Irish Wheelchair Association provides in North Tipperary please call 0505 23229 or email email@example.com
About Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA):
Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) is a national organisation founded in 1960, dedicated to the achievement of full social, economic and educational inclusion and integration of people with physical disabilities as equal, independent and participative members of their communities and society.
IWA is one of Ireland’s leading social enterprises and representative organisations providing services and support to over 20,000 members nationwide. IWA has 2,000 registered volunteers and 2,221 staff. The Association provides over 2 million hours of service annually to people with disabilities in their homes and communities throughout Ireland.